Man committed to psychiatric hospital for Connecticut college stabbings

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

HARTFORD, Connecticut -- A former Connecticut college student who stabbed two other students during what doctors called a psychotic break was ordered committed Monday to the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital for 20 years.

Jake Wascher, 21, of San Diego, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in October in connection with the stabbings at the University of Hartford on March 31.

Hartford Superior Court Judge James Graham committed Wascher to Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown to be treated for his mental illness, The Hartford Courant reported. It remains unclear exactly which illness he suffers from, a psychiatrist testified Monday.

Wascher and the two victims were making a film for a school project when he stabbed them with a kitchen knife. The other two students, Thomas Nee, 19, of South Windsor, and Brandon Gasperino, of New Fairfield, both continue to recover from their injuries.

Nee's father, Russell Nee, is skeptical of doctors' conclusions that Wascher was mentally ill and told the judge Monday that the insanity defense "does not pass the smell test. I find it disturbing how so many were quick to buy into the (mental health) defense."

The judge said Wascher needed to be committed for a long period and noted the commitment could be extended for longer than 20 years.


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